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No matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to come across as unique on a dating profile. You can list all your favorite books and movies and best date ideas, and some passing observer will still quickly label you “hipster,” “yuppie,” “nerd,” or whatever else. Now, OkCupid wants you to just lean into that with “Flavors.”
OkCupid describes Flavors as “curated groups of people within Quickmatch that fall into a specific category, from tattooed cuddlers to movie geeks.” For instance, if you’re into potheads, click on “Holy Rollers,” and you’ll have ten matches that fit that category. “You could think of this project like playlists of people,” OkCupid wrote.
Cool, exactly how I like to think of myself.
The Flavors concept was developed during one of OkCupid’s Hack Weeks, and its data on which are the most popular “flavors” is pretty interesting. “Kinky Nerds” is the most popular category with almost 60 percent of users picking it when it was presented to them, followed by Flavors like “Night Owls” and “Bookworms.” “Grand Old Partiers” were chosen less than 30 percent of the time.
OkCupid says it “executed this idea because [it] wanted to explore how to reinforce what makes people unique.” However, it seems like it could do the exact opposite by clustering people who may not have anything else in common besides being “World Travelers.” It distills complex people into their most digestible points.
Which, really, is what online dating is all about. Online daters just don’t want to admit it. There’s a misconception that you can—and should—understand a potential mate’s entire personality from his or her intricately written profile and that you’re shallow for choosing someone based on looks or keywords. But if you met people IRL you wouldn’t have an intricate profile either. You’d just have a few points to go on, whether it’s their looks, where they are, or a mutual friend telling you that they, too, are a “cinema geek.”
So sure, pick your flavor. But if you’re looking for “Apocalypse Survivalists,” you’d probably be better off on Awake Dating.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'